Odd Libraries

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Odd Libraries

Libraries can be interesting places. I know, because I work in one. Thankfully, however, they usually aren't as odd as the ones listed below.

I've always enjoyed the idea of libraries that have interesting little things tucked away, such as the archive at the end of the first Indiana Jones movie, where the Ark of the Covenant is sent to disappear. Here are some of the more interesting libraries I've read about in fiction.

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
A schoolboy stops by the library in search of some odd reading materials. A librarian he doesn’t know sends him downstairs, where another unknown librarian escorts him to a small secret space, where the schoolboy is imprisoned. The boy is told he can leave, when he has memorized the books he requested. And then it gets unusual.

Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
Father, who might be a god, is missing. His home, which is called the Library, stands unguarded. It’s full of secrets, and holds the power to control all creation. Of course several parties are interested in moving in. It is up to Carolyn and her adopted siblings to discover what happened to Father and protect his library.

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
The Library is a secret organization that collects fiction from multiple realities. Irene and her assistant have been sent to an alternate London to retrieve a rather dangerous title. They arrive to discover that it has already been stolen. In a world ruled by chaos and magic they must retrieve the book at all costs.

The Barrow will Send What it May by Margaret Killjoy
In the second book in the Danielle Cain Series, a demon hunting crew arrive in a small town that hosts a secret occult library, anarchists, and people who claim to have been brought back from the dead. When they investigate further, they are brought to the attention of an insane necromancer who could trigger the apocalypse.

The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger
Early one morning, after fighting with her boyfriend, a woman goes for a walk. She discovers a bookmobile that houses every book she’s ever read, and only the books that she’s read. She stays looking around until the morning comes and the bookmobile closes. She spends the rest of her life looking for the bookmobile again, she devotes her life to books, and she even becomes a librarian.

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler
A young librarian who is close to losing his job lives alone on Long Island. His house is on the edge of a bluff, and his mother drowned in the waters below his house. One day he receives a strange old book that causes him to wonder if his family is cursed. Many members of his family drown on July 24. Could his sister be next? He must work quickly to solve the puzzle. Oh, and his sister just mysteriously came home after six years away.

Small Gods by Terry Pratchett
Small Gods is a standalone title in the massive Discworld saga. There are over 40 Discworld titles in publication. It’s intimidating. The characters here appear in other titles, but no previous knowledge is required to enjoy this book. The Librarian plays a small role here, but he’s so fantastic I had to include this book. Early in the series he was turned into an orangutan. He opted not to change back, as his enhanced climbing skills make it easier to reach some higher shelves. In this story, the Librarian travels through L-Space (a mythical dimension that connects all libraries and book repositories) to retrieve books from another library.